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March of Dimes - Rhode Island Chapter

220 West Exchange St. #003

Providence, RI  02903

(401) 454-1911

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    Duke Energy to Recognize First-Ever March of Dimes World Prematurity Day

    Charlotte, NC, November 15, 2011 —

    For Immediate Release

    Contact: Kamin Brennan, March of Dimes: (980) 939-6021 or Ktbrennan@marchofdimes.org

    Duke Energy to Recognize First-Ever March of Dimes World Prematurity Day

    (Charlotte, NC Nov. 15, 2011) –Nationally, the March of Dimes will join organizations in Europe, Africa and Australia on Nov. 17 to hold the first-ever World Prematurity Day and call on governments worldwide to reduce death and disability caused by premature birth.

    Worldwide, 13 million babies are born early every year, including more than half a million in the United States.

    “Premature births are an enormous global problem that is exacting a huge toll emotionally, physically, and financially on families, medical systems and economies,” says Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, March of Dimes president. “We are calling on every country – including the United States – to reduce its rate of premature birth to 9.6 percent or less.”

    Preterm birth, birth before 37 weeks gestation, is the leading cause of neonatal death, and babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and others. One million babies worldwide die each year as a result of their early birth.

    The Empire State Building in New York City and other buildings across the country will be lit purple in November to symbolize hope for a healthy start for more babies.

    Here in Charlotte, the March of Dimes is working with Wells Fargo and Duke Energy to recognize the upcoming day with the lighting of their building. Purple lights in honor of the March of Dimes will outline the Duke Energy Building at dusk on November 16—the eve of World Prematurity Day.

    “We are excited to see the uptown Duke Energy building lit up with purple lights to help bring awareness to World Prematurity Day and to honor premature babies and their families in our community and worldwide” Said Janice Dumsha, Division Director for the Charlotte area March of Dimes.

    People everywhere can show their support for global prematurity prevention efforts by going to facebook.com/WorldPrematurityDay and joining the virtual campaign by changing their Facebook status to reflect a prematurity awareness message.

    The March of Dimes, the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants, (EFCNI), Africa-based LittleBigSouls International Foundation, and the National Premmie Foundation in Australia are the founding global alliance members of World Prematurity Day. The global alliances hope to harness the power of social media to encourage governments to give top priority to educating health professionals and women about caring for high-risk pregnancies and premature babies.

    The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. On November 17, 2011, the March of Dimes and its global partners will observe the first-ever World Prematurity Day to raise awareness that preterm birth is a serious problem worldwide. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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